New York State
Insurance Department


NEW YORK STATE INSURANCE DEPT FINES EIGHT AUTO INSURERS
Fines Total $179,400

July 20, 1999

Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today announced that the Department has taken disciplinary action against eight automobile insurers for various violations of New York Insurance laws and regulations. The fines, totaling $179,400 are against the following insurers:

Company   Amount of Fine
Worldwide Insurance Company
United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company
Great American Insurance Company
Merchants and Businessmen’s Mutual Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Insurance Company
American National Fire Insurance
Agricultural Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Insurance Underwriters

Total

  $73,550
  $18,500 and $3,400
  $21,000
  $20,450
  $20,000
  $18,000
  $  3,000
  $  1,500

 $179,400

A market conduct investigation revealed that for certain private passenger automobile insurance policies issued or renewed between September 1, 1997 and February 28, 1998, Worldwide Insurance Company (formerly known as Providian Auto & Home Insurance Company) failed to settle claims in a timely manner and did not properly calculate interest on overdue no-fault benefits.

A market conduct investigation revealed that Merchants and Businessmen’s Mutual Insurance Company failed to settle claims in a timely manner for certain private passenger automobile insurance policies issued or renewed between September 1, 1997 and February 28, 1998. The company also failed to properly document deductions for prior damage, failed to properly calculate the value of stolen or totaled vehicles and did not report losses in a timely manner to the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Property Insurance Loss Register.

Market conduct investigations revealed that between December 1, 1996 through November 30, 1997 the following companies; Great American Insurance Company, Agricultural Insurance Company and American National Fire Insurance Company, members of American Financial Group issued certain public automobile insurance policies with rates that differed from the ones that are currently on file with the Department.

Market conduct investigations revealed that the following companies: United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Company and Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Underwriters, members of the St. Paul Companies, were fined $18,500, $20,000, and $1,500, respectively, for exceeding the maximum number of private passenger automobile non-renewals in 1997. A company can only nonrenew up to 2% of its business in a given territory each year. The companies have agreed to limit their 1999 nonrenewals to make up for the excessive nonrenewals.

In addition, United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company was fined $3,400 when a market conduct investigation revealed that for certain public automobile insurance policies that expired February 28, 1999, it charged rates that differed from the ones that are currently on file with the Department.


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